Passage: 1 Timothy 3:14-16
Speaker: Mitch Kim
Series: Truth Over Spin
Character Of The Church
We often despise the mundane work of life. When I feel myself despising the mundane work of paperwork, dishes, garbage, child-rearing, and cleaning, I think of the apostle John. After Jesus ascended into heaven, the other disciples traveled the world healing the sick, preaching the gospel, and getting martyred for the faith. At that time John took care of Mary, the mother of Jesus, caring for her needs in anonymity while his friends thrived. Yet often through the mundane we often get the greatest revelations of God’s glory. Through John alone do we receive the marvelous and glorious vision of Revelation. We must not despise the mundane, since through the mundane God often reveals His glory. In 1 Timothy 3:14–16, Paul helps Timothy to see the glory in the mundane. Since glory shines through mundane people and flesh, we pursue godliness in the mundane.
First glory shines through mundane people (1 Tim 3:14–15). Paul describes the people of God with mundane words: they are a household (which means cleaning, children, a and cooking), a church (which means meetings and gatherings), a pillar, and a buttress. None of these realities — cleaning, children, cooking, and meetings — are glorious realities. Yet God’s glory shines through such mundane realities. The household is the “household of God”; the church is the “church of the living God” as well as a “pillar and buttress of the truth.” Pillars and buttresses are never admired for themselves; they are admired for what they hold up. In Ephesus, the pillars and buttresses of the great temple of Artemis held up a glorious marble roof admired from hundreds of miles away. Similarly the church as pillars and buttresses of the truth hold forth the truth of the gospel so that it might be seen by all nations for all generations. We should never dismiss the mundane realities of the people of God, for God’s glory shines through mundane people.
Also Christ’s glory shines through his mundane flesh (1 Tim 3:16). Here Paul cites a famous and well-known hymn about the glory of Christ who was “vindicated by the Spirit, seen by angels, proclaimed among the nations, believed on in the world, taken up in glory.” In short form, his life, death, resurrection, ascension, and work through the church until his return is summarized in all of its glory. This glorious picture of his life, though, begins with “he was manifested in the flesh.” In Greek thought flesh was looked down upon as too mundane to be important. Yet for Christ, his glory shone through such mundane flesh.
So what? We pursue the mystery of godliness in the mundane. Throughout this letter Paul combats an otherworldly godliness that despises the mundane, whether it is the mundane work of childbearing (2:15), marriage (4:3), food (4:3), caring for family (5:4), or contentment (6:6). Instead he wants them to “know how one ought to behave in the household of God” (3:15). And the mystery of godliness is that God’s greatest glory is seen in the mundane flesh of Jesus’ body (3:16).
Let us not despise the mundane work of life. Sometimes we get frustrated with the tedium of bills, cleaning, busy work, and child-rearing, but God’s greatest glory shines through the mundane. May we embrace this and pursue godliness in the mundane.